Monthly Archives: August 2017

Gardening with Dogs Part I

Gardening with Dogs – Part I

Cute dog

It is a well-known fact that Aussies love dogs – according to the latest statistics there are about 3.4 million dogs in the country. The breeds vary from terriers, retrievers, poodles, spanniols, collies and pugs to rottweilers and German shepherds, and naturally, various crosses. While the love for man’s best friend has no limits, devoted gardeners tend to find gardening with dogs in the house rather challenging.

Before you start imagining the worst scenarios about what your precious garden will look like once you get a dog, allow me to sum up the top 5 problems, so that you can have a clear idea of what your are getting yourself into – besides the cares you need to provide.

The top 5 issues regarding gardening with dogs in mind:

1. Running through the garden (and knocking your pots, destroying garden accessories, making undesired “paths” and etc.)
2. Chewing on your plants and garden accessories
3. Cleaning after the dogs have relieved themselves
4. Digging holes
5. Using decorative water features to bathe in or drink from

How to reduce the damages from dogs running recklessly through the garden?

The number one problem with dogs in the garden is the amount of havoc they tend to wreck once they are unsupervised in the garden. Even worse, it increases when your neighbours also have furry friends in theirs, or a squirrel has decided to pay you a visit. While there is nothing you can do about wild animals (pests), there are a few options you can resort to when you want to separate your pet from that of your neighbour.

A privacy fence is the most reliable way to prevent the dogs from “playing” together. However, if that is not an option for you, planting shrubs and ground covers along the line of your property will usually do the trick – provided that they are high and thick enough, so that your dog can neither peak, nor jump over (or squeeze through) them. The good news is that both options won’t “inflict any damage” on your landscape.

Having reduced the “distractions”, you also need to protect your precious plants from getting run-over. In order to do so, you can add rock borders or create trenched gardens. When a dog isn’t distracted by eventual playmates, it is less likely to cross the borders you have created, and venture through your plantations, believe experts at gardening Melbourne.

However, dogs have little respect for gardening rules, and won’t always follow the natural paths you have in place to ensure your movement through the garden. If your dog has its mind set on using a short-cut that goes directly through your planting area, no matter how you try to fight it, you are most likely going to end up with a canine highway. The tactic, I find most useful in such cases, is to plant some robust plants that will hide the path from human eyes, so you can at least have the illusion of a perfect garden with a dog playing in it.

What’s next?

In the second part of the article I will continue revealing some of the neat tricks to successful gardening with dogs in mind, so stay tuned.


Gardening with Dogs Part III

Gardening with Dogs – Part III

Puppy in the garden

Image source: pixabay.com

I know you have been anticipating the last part of Gardening with dogs as you can’t wait to see my suggestions on how to stop your four-legged friend from digging holes all over your garden, as well as putting an end on the games in your garden water features. So without further ado, here is the last part of the solutions foe the top 5 gardening issues related to having dogs:

How to put a stop to the hole-digging in your garden?

If you have dogs, it is inevitable to face the problem with hole-digging. The nature of your four-legged friend demands from it to do it. As usual, the older your dog gets the less fascinated it is with the process. However, when you have a puppy or an over-active dog, you will feel quite challenged to maintain your garden while finding a new hole every day. For some reason, there never seems to be enough dirt to cover it – one of Murphy’s laws, I guess.

Once again, the best way to deal with the unwanted activity is not to allow your furry friend outside unsupervised. The second most effective method is catching it on the spot, and scolding it. Nevertheless, in some cases you will be forced to accept the inevitable – you WILL have holes in your garden, and all you can do is make peace with it, and give your best to cover them up.

One way to cope with the emerging holes is to cover them up with wire, rocks or trellis. It is a short term solution that will only send a pro-active mud looking for easier pickings. Still, it will stop the hole from growing, and you can fill it once again. Luckily, over the years your pet will grow out of that habit or at least do it less frequently, so you need to go through the first few years. Afterwards, the dog will probably pick a secluded spot to do it, and you can easily mask the place with some cascading plants, so no one but you will know it is even there.

How to stop your dog from playing in and drinking from the water features?

Gardening with dogs is tricky on many levels but mostly when you need to protect expensive garden accessories like a fish pond or a fountain. Especially here in Australia, there is no way you can add a water feature, and not have your four-legged pal take a bath or a sip from it once the heat wave hits your area.

Experts from Cleaning at Northcote suggest simply adding a separate pool for the dogs in an out-of-the-way, somewhat secluded area. A small hard plastic pool should do the trick, provided that you keep the water in it clean and fresh, your pet will prefer it to the fish- and plant-inhabited pond or a steam. Furthermore, it is easy-to-clean and remove, in case you want your garden to look more presentable for guests.

No matter how challenging gardening with dogs might be, it is always rewarding to have a pet accompany you when you work outdoors, or simply play with your furry friend. Even better, in my opinion, the daily provocation of coping with your dog’s new mischiefs that keeps things interesting and your innovative thinking going.


Cupcakes With Love

Cupcakes Made With Love

Love cupcakes

Valentine’s Day is supposedly the most romantic day of the year, when every couple has an excuse to be ridiculously cute, and demonstrate their love openly without anyone rolling their eyes at them… even the poor sad single people, who are forced to go through the loneliest day of the year without complaints. The dualism of the holiday got me thinking about what is the best Valentine’s Day present, and one that you can also share with your single friend, and cheer her up… My decision – cupcakes with love.

There is something about cupcakes that makes them irresistible to both genders. They are small, or not that small, sweet and taste heavenly. Furthermore, with the latest Pinterest mania, people have been sharing pictures, recipes and ideas how to make the most delicious and romantic cupcakes, one has ever seen.

Why gifting cupcakes with love?

First of all, thanks to all the mixtures, sold in the stores, you don’t have to be a living, breading chef to bake them. As far as the decoration is concerned, the sky is your limit. You can make your sweet gift personalized by decorating the treats to look like your loved one’s favourite animals, create a movie-themed set, or just go with Valentine’s signature red.

How to Gift Your Cupcakes with Love?

The act of wrapping, and gifting your Valentine’s Day present is just as important as the gitf itself, so you need to choose your timing wisely. Some of you might want to see the smile on your loved one’s face as soon as she wakes up in the morning, so serving a romantic breakfast in bed might be the best solution (even though it might mean getting up at an uncanny hour – 14th of February is on Thursday). Keep in mind that making a breakfast in bed will most likely result in many stains, and a real mess in the kitchen, warn our friends at Cleaners Kensington.

Others might want to make a public statement with their love. In that case, buying or making a cupcake bouquet, and sending it to your sweetheart’s office is a fabulous idea. It will not only make her happy, but will probably be the most romantic gesture any of her colleagues have ever seen. Furthermore, she will be able to either enjoy and share the cupcakes with everyone in the office or she might choose to save the bouquet, and have at it in the evening with you.


Basic Interior Design Colour Schemes

Basic Interior Design Colour Schemes

Living room

When a professional looks at an empty room, he/ she sees the numerous possibilities, a universe of colours and fabrics that can fill the space, and turn it into a masterpiece, worthy to be placed on a magazine cover Yet, when I decided to redecorate my home, I felt at a loss of ideas, confused by the various styles, colour combinations and etc.

 

If you, just like me, still can’t quite grasp the concept of the basic interior design colour schemes, you will benefit form reading this post. Here, professionals from Home Removals at Melbourne, stopped by, and gave some simple examples to understanding, and using the colour wheel to create décors that can rival those in the flashy magazines.

First of all, you need to know that there are five basic interior design colour schemes that can be used to create an unanimous room decoration. You can take a peak at the simple, and in my view understandable, explanations and the pictures, illustrating them. Hopefully, somewhere along the way, you will find your inspiration.

Monochromatic Colour Scheme

The first, and easiest to grasp basic interior design colour scheme is the monochromatic. It can be used to recreate both extremely dramatic sets or very soothing ones, depending on your goals. It uses shades, hues and tints of the same colour, combining them in diverse fabrics, accessories, wall colours and so on to provide a marvellous end result.

If you are aiming for a dramatic, modernistic outcome, you should consider the warm, yet intricate, hues of orange, yellow and red. In case your heart’s desire is a rather cool, sophisticated interior design, the shades you need are blue, grey, black or green. On the other and, monochromatic colour schemes can, and should, be used for neutral settings as well. Beige, creams, white, and some tints and hues of grey will make for high-end, royal room décor with subtle, elegant style.

Analogous Colour Scheme

Unlike the monochromatic colour scheme, the analogous uses sequent colours on the colour wheel. Applying this method will allow you to create colourful, but still calming and harmonious décor. There is a catch, though. You can’t mix more than five consecutive colours, unless you are purposely aiming for visual confusion or kitschy look.

Usually, sticking with three or four colours from the colour wheel is the safest way to design your room. Once you have had your pick, you should decide which colour you would use as primary, and which will be the undertones and accents. Analogous colour schemes have always been popular, and psychologists believe that they can work miracles for your nerves.

Complementary Colour Scheme

Up until now, we used hues, tints and shades of the same colour or consecutive colours to create an unanimous, uninterrupted design. From this point on, however, things will get a bit more complicated, as the complementary colour scheme relies on the combination of two different colours that are situated opposite on the colour wheel. Nevertheless, when implemented right, it will give a room the quiet and subtle elegance, you have been aiming for.

Once you have the two primary colours, you can “play” with the hues and undertones to expand the colour palette. Moreover, white can always be used to accent on some details in the room, make it more harmonious or simply to class up the place.

Split Complementary Colour Scheme

The split complementary colour scheme is genuinely based on the previous one. The difference is that here, instead of adding whites, you can use shades or tints of other colours to to make it stand out more. To make things more clear, take a look at the pictures bellow. To a room, designed in blue-green, are added reds and oranges to split complement the main colour palette. Have fun experimenting!

Triad Complementary Colour Scheme

The triad complementary colour scheme is also a three-colour scheme. It has a main colour, and uses the two adjacent to the split complementary colours to accent on it. It gives you the opportunity to mix up different hues and undertones of the colours to come up with astonishing results. You can be bold and combine blue, yellow and red in the bedroom, or green, orange and yellow in the living room for a funky, dramatic result.


How to Clean China

How to Clean China

A nostalgic heirloom, or a brand new possession, antique china is a beautiful and delicate home accessory. With each generation it is passed on, the set increases its value. Don’t be fooled, however, tending to china is a full-time job. The trickiest part – figuring out how to clean china, and keep it in once piece. Personally, I consider each scratch, every crack or any other imperfection a direct insult to my ancestors. Therefore, I have developed my own ritual for tending to the precious set.

 

Firstly, you have to remember -china should only be hand washed! Forget all about how green it is to use the dishwasher. In our case, it poses a threat with its harsh detergents, high temperatures and prolonged cleaning cycle. Yes, I admit, it is possible to successfully, and without any incidents, run the china in the device, but if you want 100% guarantee that nothing bad will happen to your heirloom – do it the old-fashioned way.

General China Cleaning

Whether you are preparing your china for storage, or taking it out to impress guests, you have to sanitize the unit. As already mentioned, hand washing is your best option, and here is what you need to do:

1. Cover the bottom of the sink with a mat or a towel. In case you accidentally drop a piece from the set, the hit will be softened, and hopefully, you will avoid inflicting any damage.

2. As usual, fill the sink with water, but warm, not hot, and add a small amount of dish-washing detergent. Be careful what product you use as ammonia- or bleach-based cleaners could harm the sensitive surface of the china.

3. In case you are using a sponge (better not), make sure you use the soft side. Any abrasives or scrubbers will scar the unit. Your best choice – a soft wash cloth.

4. Let the china dry naturally, and then polish it with a microfibre cloth.

Natural China Cleaners

You are already familiar with how sensitive and breakable your china set is, so to avoid unnecessary risks with common household cleaning products, you can mix up your own remedies. As I like to say, when grandma’s antiques are involved, her cleaning methods work best! Even my friends, some of the best cleaners from St Albans, agree with me! If you have forgotten the granny methods, let me give you a heads up:

1. All-Purpose China Cleaner – A healthy, fresh-smelling remedy, composed of lemon juice and salt, will clean and shine your china! Make a paste from both ingredients, and rub it on a damp cloth. With the solution, you can effortlessly erase the harsh traces of time from your set.

2. Brown Stain Cleaner – Mix a paste from equal parts salt and vinegar to prepare the ultimate brown stain cleaner. Let it sit on the unit for as long as 15 minutes, rub and then rinse.

3. Tea and Coffee Stain Cleaner – When using your china on a regular basis, or you are simply a junkie for high-quality Arabic coffee or delicious English tea, your china will be inevitably exposed to stains. Luckily, all you need is some vinegar and baking soda. Wet the unit with vinegar. Get a dampened clean cloth and dip it in baking soda, and start rubbing the vinegar-covered surface.

Last but not least, I would like to remind you that antique china needs to be stored very carefully, since it is rather delicate. Never leave it in a moist, uncontrolled environment for longer than a couple of hours. When storing the unit, place paper sheets between the units to avoid unnecessary scratches.

Always appreciate your heirloom!

I learned these helpful cleaning tips from the cleaners St Albans. They advised me on how to store, clean and dry my antique china set, so if you have any additional questions, you can turn to them!


Get Your Stripe On

Get Your Stripe On

What people love most is being fashionable in all aspects of their life. Sometimes, maintaining a certain vision is more than a life choice – it is a social standard that we ought to comply with. Additionally, our homes are the mirror to our souls, so we can’t claim the title “stylish”, if our dwelling isn’t just as smoothly arranged as our daily outfit. Amongst the best interior design trends for this year is home décor with stripes.

 

Psychologists say that using stripes as decoration feature is preserved only to the bold and dynamic personalities as it includes a certain amount of gambling. However, I believe that anyone can succeed with a few simple guidelines. So, get your stripe on and let’s decorate the living room with fancy, colourful lines.

What to Avoid When Decorating With Stripes

As previously said, there are a number of things that can go south when you start toying with stripes:

  • Too many stripes can distract the eye – Unlike other home décor elements of which you can never have too many, stripes can become overbearing when used excessively. Therefore, you need to draw the line at some point. For instance, if you want a wall covered in stripes from floor to ceiling, stop at one wall only. In case you are adding a “belt” of stripes to grid the entire room, don’t use stripped elements at other spots.

  • Avoid visual tension caused by clashing colours
     – Stripes can be dangerous to play with when you want to add a dramatic flair to the space with contrasting colours. It is much safer and creates a soothing effect to use shades and hues from the same colour family.
  • Stripes are fussy, counteract them with less intense elements – To achieve that eye-catching effect of the stripes, you see in the magazines, you need to allow them to pop out by completing the room decoration with rather plain accessories.

How to Pick The Right Type of Stripes

Basically there are numerous types of stripes, depending on their direction (horizontal, vertical and slanting lines), their thickness, the contrast between the colours of each line. The same rules one would use when choosing a stripped outfit apply to the stripe interior design. Thin horizontal stripes will make the room appear higher, while vertical ones will add optical depth to the space. Slanting lines can give you a mixed solution but are also trickier, so be careful.

Essentially, you need to be familiar with the peculiarities of the structure of the room to be able to select the best type of stripes. Bare in mind that they can make or break your home décor, and if you are feeling uncertain about how they would look, it’s much better to avoid using them in big room details like walls, massive furniture and etc.

Where is it Safe to Use Stripes for the First Time?

As far as striped surfaces go, the best places to experiment with stripes are cushions, curtains, bed covers and carpets… or a pretty mixture of all of the above. According to carpet cleaners at Melbourne, stains are less visible on a striped carpet or rug, so you can place one in a high-traffic area or in your kid’s bedroom.

Don’t get confused, there are options to experiment with different types of stripes throughout the room. However, it is a game that should be played only by experienced home owners who feel sure of their decoration skills.


Home Decoration Tips

Home Decoration Tips

Home décor and interior design – the magical words that can change you attitude to your house. Believe it or not, your dwelling reflects your personality like nothing else. The place where you spend a big deal of your free time can tell numerous stories about your likes, dislikes and habits, so every visitor with an eye for details can read you like an open book. Therefore, you need to invest some of your time and money to create the perfect little piece of heaven.

 

How to Improve Your Home décor on Budget?

Naturally, when you want to jazz up your home décor, you will have to invest in it. Still, you needn’t spread your budget thin in favour of buying new pieces of furniture or totally renovating your living room. On the contrary, what matters are the little details, those special feminine touches here and there that add character and charm to the space, that make a house a home.

First things first, though, you need to start small. What easier way to see what can benefit from a touch up than de-cluttering. You will be amazed at how big a difference a simple deep cleaning in Seaford can make. Simply by vacuum cleaning, putting away old magazines, dusting and arranging the shelves you will re-discover your living room. Furthermore, while you are organizing, you can find stuff you can re-purpose like turning old baskets into magazine holders or decoupaging old picture frames to personalize them.

Fill The Empty Space

Once you have cleaned up, or even better hired professional cleaning assistants at Seaford to do it for you. You can have a fresh look at the room. Check for empty spaces that can benefit from a new fancy accessory. Don’t misinterpret this like an order to fill all the available room with small or not so small items – it will make the room seem small and stuffy!

In case you lack storage space, yo can add some shelves on the walls to take advantage of the unused area. If you don’t, you can consider hanging a painting, a poster, adding one of those oh-so-trendy wall murals or going oriental and using a wall rug. It all depends on what you have at hand, in what style you have arranged your home and what look are you aiming for.


Fighting Back The Army of Chinese Food Stains

Fighting Back The Army of Chinese Food Stains

My fear is far more concerning than fighting some extra kilos. What I fear the most is going into an unexpected battle with the armies of Chinese food stains. These extra greasy protein stains are an opponent that needs much more than expert Kung Fu skills to take down. Skills far more different than an simple sponge handling are required. Classic weapons, like liquid dish soap or a bit of upholstery shampoo, are powerless in front of the might of a Chinese stain.

China is not only the most populated place on Earth. Many other stories hide behind the name of this country. Did you know that one of the food that leaves the scariest stains is told to be Chinese food. Their forces are strong, but we must have something to fight them back right? So how could you win a war with China?

It simpler than it seems. At first glance, a spicy Chinese food stain may seem to have settled on your clothes forever, but reality can be much more surprising. As every different enemy, diverse types of stains have that one thing that makes them week. If the fabric allows it, you can use Hydrogen Peroxide mixed with water in a 50:50 ratio to dissolve and completely remove the stains. Remember, you have to make sure you are using color-safe detergent. In more complex situations these stains will require much more scrubbing and batting than usually, but they will eventually come off. When things seem too much for a single hero to handle, I always rely on my dear friends from the stain fighting army of the expert cleaners from Bentleigh East . They’ve helped me many times when I was questioning my skills and knowledge, and we always won the fight.

There is no enemy you can’t fight back, there are only methods and tactics that works best in different situations. So next time a wild Chinese food stain appears on the sacred lands of your carpet and upholstery you can fight it with the new things you learned today.


How to Decorate Your First Home as a Couple

How to Decorate Your First Home as a Couple

Finally it’s that time when the two of you have found the place where you will start living together as a couple. It’s your new future home and there is nothing to worry about, you will have no problems with decorating it and turning it to a little Heaven that says “we are together”. Here are five great decorating tips and tricks that will help you have a stress-free process of making your first common house – your first home!

Get used to think of you both as “we”

The first step of your life together as a couple will be replacing the words “yours” and “mine”. Starting to think of you both as “we” and your common things such as your shared space as “ours” is sometimes a challenge, but always necessary. Making all the decisions together and taking both opinions about the way your future house should look like is very important – and this includes everything – from merging your preferred styles and décor ideas to making compromises and choosing a design that both of you feel comfortable with and happy to have. Take time to discuss your personal styles and don’t forget to work as a team. If it’s not possible to combine your views about everything in the house, it’s a good decision to create little individual zones – such as a man’s sport zone and a woman’s plotting area. Now, you will both have your little zone dedicated to the things you like to do.

Go to a garage sale

Now, that you have bought your first home as a couple, you are at the limit of your budget, so don’t spend money on buying expensive home accessories or decorations. There are many helpful and quality things on garage sales. Go there and find what you need and don’t think that something, that have already been used, is not a well-working one. In fact, there is a great chance to find unique and very special things at these little garage sales. And the best part is that they fit to your budget.

Do one step at a time

Don’t think that entering your new home requires upgrading it from the top to bottom. Stick to your budget and begin the process from pieces you will need at a first place such as furniture and kitchen appliances. Don’t count on modern and trendy staff, choose timeless designs that you will both like and will use for a very long time. Furniture and most of the kitchen appliances are too expensive and always a big investment, that’s why oven cleaning Melbourne services advise you to look for those things on IKEA or home improvement stores with affordable prices.

Look at it as a journey

It’s a moment of your life you will always remember, so all the time look at the bright side and enjoy the process. Experiment with the colours, patterns and textures both of you like, take pictures at the decorating process and feel yourself as going on an adventure. All in all, it’s important how you will feel in your home, it should make you happy and comfortable living together, so make it memorable and cozy!

Make the space your own

Decorate your place the way it will easily represents you both who you are. You can make a little décor places with your pictures or places you both love. Remember that the more “yours” the place become, the more you will both feel love in the air. And don’t forget to learn how to decorate a baby’s nursery, when you face that special moment in your life!


Let’s Clean Up Pet Stains

Let’s Clean Up Pet Stains

We love them, play with them, take care of them, cuddle them, feed them, bathe them… and, yes, we do have to clean up after them… That’s right today’s post is all about our most beloved pets. While it is so rewarding to have a little, or big, furry friend, and it has been long since proven that pets improve our quality of life, no one can deny that where there are pets, stains and odd smell inevitably follows, no matter how vigilant we training the little ones properly.

Naturally, you will find various pet stain cleaning products in the local store, but most of them contain dangerous chemicals that can harm both your and your pet’s health, so in this article we are going to discuss the alternative green detergents that one can easily mix with household products. Not only are the natural cleaners budget-friendly, but they are perfectly safe for those naughty, all-exploring tongues and noses that are always curious to check out what are you up to.

Before we begin, I must warn you that the most efficient way to clean up pet stains is to take the faulty one out of the room first as his/ her curiosity might get in the way of your cleaning activities. There are many products in the stores that will help you clean up pet stains, but the safest ones are the home-made remedies, the ingredients for which you will find right in your kitchen cupboard:

Use Vinegar to Clean Up Pet Stains

Yep, once again white vinegar is the best go-to solution for cleaning up pet stains. The ultimate green cleaner will not only vanquish the nasty stains, but it will also neutralize the unpleasant odour, due to its high acidity. However, it works best on fresh stains. Firstly, blot the stain, then apply generous amount of equal parts vinegar-water solution, and let dry. Don’t scrub – remind the cleaners from Kensington! When the spot has properly dried, vacuum clean the area. If necessary repeat, until the stain is no longer visible.

Use Baking Soda to Clean Up Old Pet Stains

While your pet might know that eliminating on the carpet is strictly forbidden, he/she might feel tempted (or forced, depending on the reason why the deed was done) to find a hidden corner, out of your sight to go potty. The smell will inevitably lead you to the “crime scene” but by then, the stain might be dried or even days-old. For those stains, baking soda will be your best friend. Simply sprinkle baking soda all over the spot and let it sit for a couple of hours, and once again clean it up with vacuum cleaner.

Use Club Soda for Stain Pre-Treatment

That is right, club soda works well for pet stain, too. The famous party-stain-remedy for red wine spillages on your evening outfit is the perfect cleaning detergent to help you loosen up old pet stains. All you need to do is saturate the spot with club soda, and wait until the soda stops sizzling. Since the club soda in only efficient during that timespan, you might have to repeat the procedure several times.

Keep in mind that you have to remove the excess liquid by blotting, not by rubbing as the latter will only help the stain penetrate deeper into the fibres of the fabric. If the stain hasn’t been completely removed, use the baking soda treatment next, and your carpet will look like brand new.

If you have a puppy, and you are wondering how to house train it, here is a great article from Fantastic Cleaners Melbourne. It will surely help you avoid many accidents, and having to dig into the contents of your kitchen cupboard.